Norway missing out on Europeans / News / The Foreigner

Norway missing out on Europeans. Norwegian companies hesitate to employ young professional Europeans because of language problems, reports say. “We advertise for people regularly, but there are few Norwegian applicants. However, a fair number of Eastern European and Spanish hopefuls turn up. There are a lot of clever people, but the dilemma is “do we dare give this person a job?””, Svein Rotevatn, General Manager at architectural and engineering company in Sogn og Fjordane, tells NRK. He maintains that, “the problem is that they need Norwegian language schooling and training in Norwegian regulations applicable to our branch. It might take two years before being fully productive. Employing the person might be a good idea if I could know he/she would stay for more than two and for at least four years.”

norwegianemployers, norwaylanguagebarrier, europeandebtcrisis, eurocrisis



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Norway missing out on Europeans

Published on Tuesday, 8th November, 2011 at 13:36 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson and Oana Pintilie   .

Norwegian companies hesitate to employ young professional Europeans because of language problems, reports say.

Norwegian-English dictionary
Norwegian-English dictionary
Photo: ©2011 Michael Sandelson/The Foreigner


“We advertise for people regularly, but there are few Norwegian applicants. However, a fair number of Eastern European and Spanish hopefuls turn up. There are a lot of clever people, but the dilemma is “do we dare give this person a job?””, Svein Rotevatn, General Manager at architectural and engineering company in Sogn og Fjordane, tells NRK.

He maintains that, “the problem is that they need Norwegian language schooling and training in Norwegian regulations applicable to our branch. It might take two years before being fully productive. Employing the person might be a good idea if I could know he/she would stay for more than two and for at least four years.”

Anne van Oorschot, Dutch General Manager of Sogn og Fjordane’s future-orientated “Framtidsfylket”, says the language barrier is not a problem amongst the vocations, but administrative and office positions requiring university-level education.

“It’s a challenge getting businesses to use English as a working language here. I believe it’s partly because many people from the older generation don’t have a good grasp of the language,” she tells The Foreigner.

“Norwegians are relatively insecure because they are afraid of looking silly when speaking English, and have worked in quite a protected job environment where they are not used to meeting so many foreigners.”

Sogn og Fjordane only has approximately 108,000 inhabitants. Many businesses in the area are involved in the production, industrial, public, and energy sectors.

“Another problem is that there are many small companies that have reduced the importance of active in favour of ad hoc recruitment,” says Mrs van Oorschot.

The county, with its nature, also has quite a rugged climate. According to her, whilst it is a good place to live for families with children, “it is rural. You have to be motivated to move here in order to settle in Norway, rather than just for work, as it can be a long way from home.”

Meanwhile, as the future of many Europeans is extremely uncertain, Norway is crying out for qualified labour. Torger Reve, professor at the Norwegian Business School (BI), thinks businesses could benefit from importing young professionals from Europe.

“We see there are large groups of highly educated young people who cannot get jobs in other parts of Europe. This also applies to our neighbor, Sweden, and not least to Eastern and Southern Europe. We can find great resources here,” he says to NRK.

Anne van Oorschot tells The Foreigner that, “perhaps we should lobby businesses and get objective figures that show how many people we need in relation to the seriousness of the situation.”




Published on Tuesday, 8th November, 2011 at 13:36 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson and Oana Pintilie   .

This post has the following tags: norwegianemployers, norwaylanguagebarrier, europeandebtcrisis, eurocrisis.





  
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